This should be the first story in a new as-yet-untitled mystery series from me, readers. I

really hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you'll all be willing to review it quite cleanly, quite

courteously, and quite constructively. It'll feature many unexpected characters, twists and turns, I

hope, that eventually will make it a rather good mystery to solve for all concerned here. I don't yet

know just how long it will be, obviously. But I still expect that it'll be at least a dozen or so

chapters in length, if not even longer here, just the same, of course.

Now, without further ado, if we may, let's all get on with the story here, readers. If you

might have anything at all to say about this story to me, then you should know what to do by now,

I think. I'll write more summary relating to this story here, at least, if not also any others,

whenever and wherever necessary and possible, as well, readers.


The Unholy Murders

Chapter One

One late evening in mid-July 2005, on an alternate Earth, there was a dead body found in a

temple/church-like building. This building was in a semi-cosmopolitan city on that Earth. This city

was New York City, in fact. And it was in a nation known as the United States of America, just like

the New York City of the more-familiar Earth. However, this particular New York City was

somewhat to the east of Washington, D.C., in its own nation.

The name of the building that the aforementioned dead body was found in was "The Sanctuary

of The Holy Light." The dead body was found in front of the main altar in this building, as well. This

dead body belonged to a male of about 29 Terran Standard years of age. An almost 55-year-old priest

making the rounds of the Sanctuary, prior to the closing of it for the night, found the dead body in

front of the altar there. And this body had a good-sized harpoon of then-unknown design and

ownership stuck into him. The unfortunate man had the harpoon stuck into him in such a manner and

in such an angle as he was pinned to the floor primarily face-down, if not entirely so. The harpoon's

blade, in fact, even went all the way through him to the floor under him, and another six inches or so

into the mostly marble-tiled floor besides.

The priest found the dead body from about five feet away, while he was carrying a small

lantern about the size of a typical coffee can that was largely of a rectangular prismatic shape. When

he saw the dead man in front of the altar, and apparently facing toward the left side of the building

as one might enter it through the main aisle, he silently made the sign of the cross over his own chest,

in fact. He then approached the dead man very carefully, not yet knowing whether or not the man's

obvious killer was still in the building. This, of course, was for all the obvious reasons here.

When he was better able to see the harpoon that was now stuck in the victim, he noticed a

strange glow of some sort start to appear as he brought his lantern closer to it. This glow was at least

a little reminiscent of some sort of rainbow, in fact. Though he didn't yet know what might be

causing it to appear, by the way, if he ever would. While he was looking at and around the dead man,

a voice soon called out for him, as a few footsteps also echoed through the nearby corridors, and asked

him, "What's the delay in closing up for the night, Brother Ignatius?"

"Sister Dorothy, go get Abbot Mikosi immediately, please. I need him here by the main altar

as soon as possible."

The voice said, "Understood, Brother Ignatius." More footsteps, this time receding, in fact.

Two minutes or so later, then, Abbot Mikosi and several other priests came to where Brother

Ignatius was still near the body. Abbot Mikosi, a graying and balding man of about eighty years of

age, asked him, "When did you find this body, Brother Ignatius?"

"I found it about five or so minutes ago, Abbot Mikosi."

"I see. Anyone else around the body that you know of, besides us, then?"

"No. He appeared to have been here alone, and worshipping in front of the altar, before I

noticed the harpoon sticking out of him just before I reached him here."

"I see. Do you have any idea what is causing the strange glow to appear on this harpoon at

all, then, Brother Ignatius?" asked one of Mikosi's companions, a good-sized man of about 35 years

of age, with a bit of a developing belly from a few years of overeating and a little bit too much

alcoholic consumption.

"No, I don't. I have a feeling, though, that we may need some help here in finding out just

what happened here, Prior Harold."

"I don't think it would be wise to involve the law enforcement officials here, since this has

apparently happened in our compound, Brother Ignatius."

"I disagree. I think someone like Officer Pierre Wade might be able to get to the bottom of

this matter well enough, with or without help, Prior, before too much more time passes for us all."

"You would support someone like him entering this compound with numerous others of low

station, instead of keeping the world out of our compound, except when worship services are being

conducted, Brother Ignatius?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I would. Would you rather that this dead body's owner not get the

justice that he might deserve, and that a murderer or murderess might be free to possibly kill again

at least once more, if not more than that?"

"If he was killed here, there must be a reason. And maybe he was an infidel, as well? See

how his skin is darker than many of the people that typically show up here for worship services?"

"So what if his skin is darker than many of this compound's visitors? Many of this world's

people are dark-skinned, Prior Harold. Are you trying to say only light-skinned people are worthy of

visiting our order's compounds, under most circumstances, if not all?"

"No, of course not, Brother Ignatius. I just don't think that we should allow law enforcement

officials into our compound at this time, if ever, to deal with this matter."

The assembled priests here conversed for a little while longer, before Abbot Mikosi eventually

said, "Prior Harold, go tell Sister Dorothy to fetch Officer Pierre Wade from the Police Department

immediately. I realize you might not agree with my decision here on this matter, and any other related

ones that I may make, of course. But as of the current time, I am still the Head Abbot at this

Sanctuary, not you. As long as that is the case, then, you still are to follow my directions to the letter

whenever possible, if I am acting as this Sanctuary's Head. Go now, and do as I have now

commanded of you, Prior Harold."

Prior Harold then did as ordered, even though he wished he didn't have to. It was at this

particular time that he first began to entertain thoughts of doing harm to several people he knew in

his life, or to those he didn't yet know in it. Not the least of them being Abbot Mikosi, in fact.

After Prior Harold left, Abbot Mikosi then dismissed everyone else from the area for the time

being here. Except for Brother Ignatius, of course. After he did so, he asked, "Iggy, do you think that

Pierre will be able to piece this matter together well enough, with or without help, by any chance?"

"I think so, for some yet-unknown reason here. But from the current looks of things here,

Kosi, it still might not be all that easy for him to do so here well enough. At least at first, if that's not

actually the case entirely, of course."

About half an hour later, then, as the two priests were still talking with each other, and

guarding the body, the main entrance/exit to the building opened. In came Sister Dorothy, a school-

aged girl of about seventeen years of age who was due to start her last year of high school in a few

months. She briefly conversed with Abbot Mikosi about halfway down the main aisle as Brother

Ignatius kept guarding the dead man's body here.

She said, "Officer Wade is here, as are several others."

"Very well, Sister Dorothy. You may retire for the night to your rooms, then. If we need you,

then we'll call you."

"As ye wish, Abbot Mikosi. Fare thee well in thy sleep tonight. Beware the Dark Phantom

who seeks to wreak havoc wherever and whenever possible, Abbot."

"Peace be with thee, as well, my young charge. May the Blessed Lord protect thee and thy

dreams tonight, Sister Dorothy."

Sister Dorothy then retired to her rooms in the building's compound, in very short order, after

nodding to Abbot Mikosi and Brother Ignatius. Her footsteps soon became inaudible near both men

and all the other people now near enough to the main altar. At a nod from Mikosi after she'd done

so, several people then entered the building as well, after having waited patiently on the building's

front stairs for the okay to do so here.

Various emergency and law enforcement officers, among others that also entered the building

at the same time, soon secured the immediate area of the building, in very short order. And then they

interviewed the necessary people anywhere in the compound at least a little bit, if they'd not already

done so by then. Including, of course, Abbot Mikosi and Brother Ignatius. Eventually, they began

searching the area in and around where the body had been found.

After a while, they learned that the name of the unfortunate victim was Joshua Levine. He

was apparently, at least as of the current time, a single man who was about 29 or so years of age. He

had papers on his person that said that he was an office-worker elsewhere in New York City. His

current address on his New York State Driver's License was actually listed as 376 7th Street,

Apartment 628, Seaview, New York, USA. A few of his papers also said he was the current owner

of a PT Cruiser-like vehicle that was primarily silver and blue in color.

Seaview was a medium-sized town of about 5,100 known sentient beings in it, located just

to the northeast of New York City in its metropolitan area. He commuted to his job as a business

manager for a major computer software developer and manufacturing firm from his suburban

residence in Seaview. He lived alone in an apartment suite with five main rooms in it, and a few

smaller ones, in fact.

When they were finally able to remove the harpoon from his body, and lift him up enough,

they soon found a black rose under where he'd been. Several petals from it were missing, when they

picked it up from where they'd found it. Those petals were found on, under, and near his body, in

fact. The petals, among other parts of the rose, were at least somewhat silver-trimmed, if not entirely,

as well.

Also near, on, and under where his body had been in front of the altar, there were at least a

few signs of a struggle, if not a lot of them. For instance, there were at least a few, if not a lot, of

clothes fragments near and on him. These fragments were of various colors, with most of them being

either black or white, but not all of them. There were also some blue and red clothes fragments and

other things near and on him. Both from before they freed him from the floor beneath him, and from

after they did so, in fact.

After several hours of considerable investigation of the area in and around where Mr. Levine

had been found by Brother Ignatius, Mr. Levine was soon carried out of the building by all the

necessary people here. This, of course, was for all the obvious reasons.

On the way out the building's main entrance/exit, Officer Wade asked Abbot Mikosi and

Brother Ignatius if they'd possibly be willing to testify in court to what they'd seen or heard during

the current day, evening, or night. Both said, "Yes, Officer Wade, we're willing to do so if the need

arises for us to do so at all, and if at all possible. God willing, of course. At least for the both of us.

Though we don't know yet about the rest of our people here, at least not at the current time."

"Understood. Hopefully, God will show us who did this foul deed, and to also make it

somehow possible for justice to be done for the unfortunate murder victim here, eventually."

"That is our wish and hope as well, Officer Wade," said Brother Ignatius, after a brief nod

from his superior Abbot Mikosi let him know that he could then comment here.

The three men conversed only a few minutes more, at most, before Officer Pierre Wade then

left the building behind again, for all the obvious reasons, of course. After he left, Brother Ignatius

finally finished all his rounds that had earlier been interrupted by the discovery of Mr. Levine's body

near the main altar here. By the time that he finished doing so, Abbot Mikosi had already retired to

his rooms elsewhere in the building's compound for the rest of the night, in fact. Brother Ignatius soon

did the same, as well, just as soon as he could do so well enough here. Brother Ignatius was soon

quite soundly asleep in his rather simple cot/bench-like sleeping alcove in his rooms. And he slept

there until just about 5:30 am local time the following morning, about thirty minutes before the

morning meals would start to be served to the various priests and priestesses then in residence in the

religious compound.


I plan on introducing the first suspect in this case in the next chapter, if at all possible, readers.

And you should learn more about them, at least to some degree. There will be at least some mixing

of people between the Sanctuary compound and the outside world as well in this next chapter, I think.

Especially if they are young enough to go to at least one nearby school here, in fact. Those people may

not always use their religious designations, whenever they do so, as well. But which people they

might be, you'll just have to wait to find out more about them here. This, of course, is for all the

obvious reasons, readers. I don't really want to ruin the next chapter here, if I don't have to, before

I put it up, obviously enough, at the very earliest, if at all.

For now, then, I'll let you go, and I bid you all farewell, until I add more to this story here.

This is now "The Universal Storyteller" signing off, with all that then entails here, in fact. Over and

out, readers!